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Social anger was unleashed after Duque's administration proposed to Congress a tax bill that aims to increase prices of basic food products.
Colombia's National Strike Committee (CNP) on Wednesday rejected police repression against marches and mobilizations taking place nationwide against the tax reform presented by President Ivan Duque's administration.
"The Mobile Anti-riot Squadron (ESMAD) is cracking down on peaceful protesters with blows and tear gas bombs. The government must stop police brutality and respect the people's right to demonstrate," Senator Ivan Cepeda tweeted.
The working class took to the streets "against this government, its regressive tax reform, its constant attack on the peace process, its authoritarian mood, and lousy handling of the pandemic. Citizens today are calling for political and social change in Colombia," Cepeda added.
In Bogota, protesters blocked the main avenues of the capital, Suba and Caracas, and they have gathered in over 50 locations throughout the city.
¡Empieza la represión en Sameco, Cali! No nos violen en derecho constitucional a protestar, ya callaron al Congreso y los órganos de control, no podrán callar la gente. Gobernantes, respeten la protesta pacífica. #EsElMomentoDeParar28Apic.twitter.com/tTSI2hz9AK
The meme reads, "Repression begins in Sameco, Cali. Do not violate our constitutional right to protest! The government has already silenced Congress, but it will not silence the people. Governors, respect peaceful protest."
Bogota's Security Secretariat informed that there are massive congregations at the Colombian National University, The Fallen Heroes Monument, and the Centro Mayor Shopping Center. Several public transportation routes remain blocked.
"In Colombia, unemployment exceeds 16 percent. Half of the workers earn less than the minimum wage. Forty percent of Colombians live in extreme poverty. And Duque still thinks there are no reasons to take to the streets," Indigenous leader Feliciano Valencia tweeted.
Farmer communities of Cairo, Cajibio, Caucan cities also joined the strike and are keeping the Panamerican highway blocked. Meanwhile, a group of protesters knocked down the statue of the conquistador Sebastian de Belalcazar in the Cali Department.
Social anger was unleashed after Duque's administration proposed to Congress a tax bill that aims to increase prices of basic food products, such as milk, meat, and eggs.